Donald Shelby

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February 3, 1931 - April 4, 2012 We mourn, but not as those without hope, for we are people of the resurrection. Donald Jay Shelby, loving husband, father and papa passed away at his home in Los Osos, California at the age of 81. He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Jean Shelby, his two daughters and sons in law Dana and Mike Knowles and Darla and Eric Dyson and grandchildren, Shelby, John, Ruby, Olivia, Matthew and Henry. Shelby was born February 3, 1931 in Holton, Kansas to Chelcia Agnes Fisher and Robert Henry Shelby. In his youth, he discovered a lifelong love of music and as a boy soprano sang for the governor of Kansas. He is preceded in death by his siblings, Robert Shelby, Doris Routh and Paul Shelby. Shelby spent 45 years as a United Methodist minister in Southern California. He began his education in Kansas, graduating from Holton High School in 1949 and Baker University in 1953 with a degree in psychology. He attended Garrett Seminary in Evanston, Illinois and completed his Master of Divinity at the USC School of Theology in 1958. During seminary, Shelby was a youth minister, choir director and assistant pastor at Torrance United Methodist Church in Torrance, California. In 1958, he helped organize a United Methodist Church in North Whittier Heights (Hacienda Heights), California. He was transferred to San Diego in 1967 to be senior pastor of St. Mark's United Methodist Church where he spearheaded the Community Christian Service Agency, an ecumenical organization that has provided food and clothing to people in need for over twenty years. In 1975, he became senior pastor of First United Methodist Church in Santa Monica. There he mobilized the congregation and community to build Upward Bound House, an innovative project combining senior housing and transitional housing for homeless families. Throughout his life, Don was active in service and professional organizations, including Delta Tau Delta, Rotary International and the California-Pacific Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. A gifted speaker and writer, Shelby preached in churches across the United States and published four books including Meeting the Messiah and Bold Expectations of the Gospel. In his retirement, Don enjoyed exploring the Central Coast, visiting with his grandchildren, gardening, baking cookies and his famous Kansas City cheesecake and hosting family and friends. Don will be remembered for his loving and giving nature, unique sense of humor, zeal for vocabulary and passion for the Gospel. The family wishes to thank all who have remembered Don in prayer and with cards, calls, gifts and meals. They are also indebted to his loving caregivers and friends from the Trinity United Methodist Church in Los Osos, California and the Atascadero United Methodist Church in Atascadero, California. Memorial services in celebration of Don's life will be held on April 10 at 11:00 a.m. at Trinity United Methodist Church in Los Osos, California and on May 12 at 11:00 a.m. at First United Methodist Church, Santa Monica. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Donald Shelby's name to the Upward Bound House, 1104 Washington Ave, Santa Monica, California 90403 and the Community Christian Service Agency, 4167 Rappahannock Ave, San Diego, California 92117. Donald Jay Shelby
Published in Topeka Capital-Journal on Apr. 7, 2012
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